Editors Choice

Best Free Standing Pull Up Bar [Expert Guide & Review]

If you’re serious about putting together a home gym, then you need a pull up bar. Ideally, you want a free standing pull up bar. Give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll explain that. We’ll also tell you what to look for when you buy one and suggest a few of the best free standing pull up bars on the UK market.

Why do you need a pull up bar?

A lot of popular exercises either deliver a whole-body workout (e.g. cardio) or focus on the lower body (e.g. cycling, running, cross-training). If, however, you want your whole body to look, feel and work its best, then you need to exercise your upper body too. Pull up bars are probably the best form of upper-body exercise there is and free standing pull up bars are particularly good.

The main types of pull up bars

There are four main types of pull up bars. These are:

  • Door-mounted pull up bars
  • Wall-mounted pull up bars
  • Portable pull up bars
  • Free standing pull up bars

The names are pretty much self-explanatory and give a hint as to why free standing pull up bars are the best. All the other forms of pull up bars need to be mounted to something usually. a door or wall. 

From a fitness perspective, the issue with this is that it tends to limit your range of movement. It can also make you very cautious about performing movements. In your head, you may be worried about dislodging the pull up bar. What’s more, your head might be right.

From a practical perspective, the issue is that your pull up bar can potentially damage your property (or, worse still, someone else’s property). To be fair, there are some mounted pull up bars where this risk is minimal to nil. You do, however, still need to accept the limitations on your range of movement.

That’s basically why free standing pull up bars are such a great option. You get the full range of movement and there is zero risk of damaging your property (or anyone else’s).

What muscles can you exercise with free standing pull up bars?

Basically, if a muscle is in your core or upper body, then a free standing pull up bar can work it. This includes:

  • Latissimus dorsi (aka the lats)
  • Trapezius (aka the traps)
  • Pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior and subclavius (aka the pecs)
  • Deltoids (shoulder muscles)
  • Biceps/Triceps/Coracobrachial (muscle above your bicep)
  • Teres major/Teres minor/Infraspinatus (back muscles)

In fact, if you add some free weights and a yoga mat, you have all the equipment you need for a home gym. The free standing pull up bar and the weights will take care of strength. The yoga mat will allow you to do stretches. It can also act as soundproofing when you do cardio. You don’t need equipment for that.

How to use a free standing pull up bar

You can use your free standing pull up bar on its own or you could use it before going weights. If you really want to up the ante, you could use weights while working out on your free standing pull up bar.

Either way, there are all kinds of exercises you can do with your free standing pull up bar. Here is just a selection of the main ones:

  • Regular pull up
  • Regular Chin up
  • Narrow grip & wide grip pull up
  • Narrow grip & wide grip chin up
  • Pull up hang
  • Pull up top hold
  • Negative pull up
  • L-sit pull up
  • Rotational pull ups
  • Kipping pull ups
  • Pull overs
  • Muscle ups
  • Grip switch pull ups
  • Dips
  • Leg raises
  • Knee raises
  • (Push ups)

We’ve put push ups in brackets because technically you can’t guarantee that a free standing pull up bar will have push up handles. In practice, however, almost all of them do.

We don’t have space to go into a full explanation of how to do all of these exercises. You can, however, just put the names into YouTube or regular Google and you’ll find plenty of great tutorials on how to do them properly. We would suggest you invest in a home gym mirror so you can check your posture and form.

Free standing pull up bar buyer’s guide

So now that you’re convinced of the benefits of a free standing pull up bar, you probably want to know what you should look for when you buy one. As always, we’re here to help. These are the key points you need to check.

Safety

In the context of free standing pull up bars, safety means stability. Basically, you want to be sure that you can work out as vigorously as you want without having to worry about your stand alone pull-up bar toppling over.

This means you want a steel frame, with good, load-bearing supports, at least one crossbar and a reliable base. Ideally, you want extra supports in key places such as underneath parallel-bar handles. You also want safety locking screws (or nuts).

Weight limit

This is really a sub-topic of safety. All reputable free standing chin-up bar manufacturers will specify a maximum weight limit for their products. You should check that this is sufficient for your needs. Keep in mind that exercising regularly will often make you burn fat but build muscle. This means that your overall weight may not actually go down.

Height adjustability

Technically, the key point is that a free standing pull up bar is the right height for you. Assuming you’re an adult, that isn’t going to change. That said, it can be nice to have some element of height adjustability. Firstly, that means you can share (if you like). Secondly, it means you’ll have more options if you decide you want to sell it.

Padding and grip

Padding and grip are often, essentially, the same. You need the padding to get a proper hold on the metal of the free standing chin-up bar. That said, one of our picks uses laser etching to provide comfort and grip.

As a minimum, you need to be confident that the main bar itself is comfortable to hold and safe to grip. If there are any other bars/handles then it’s preferable that they also have padding and good grip.

Having a backrest and/or padded elbow rests can do a lot for your comfort. This can help get you motivated to use your free standing chin-up bar.

Extra handles

Most free standing pull up bars will also come with parallel-bar handles. Quite a few will also have push-up handles. The former can be very useful. The latter are more in the line of nice-to-haves.

Best free standing pull up bar UK

So here’s our pick of the best free standing chin-up bars on the UK market. Essentially, we’re looking for solid performance and excellent value for money. For completeness, the “footprint” listing gives the overall horizontal space you’ll need for the free standing chin-up bar. In other words, it includes the width of the bar itself rather than just the base.

On a safety note, none of these stand alone pull-up bars needs to be bolted to the walls/floor. We would, however, be tempted to do it anyway, because we’re like that. Also, if kids get into your gym and start playing with your equipment, they could find a way to bring it down. It might not be likely but it is possible.

If you’re planning on using resistance bands with your free standing pull up bar then we’d strongly recommend bolting it thoroughly to both the wall and the floor. We’d also recommend you buy one of the more premium options. We don’t think our budget pick is strong enough to handle resistance bands, even if it is bolted to the walls and floor.

For completeness, free standing pull up bars are also sometimes known as outdoor pull up bars. We think that the three more premium options would be robust enough to be put outside. Obviously, you’d need a cover for them otherwise the rain will rust them. They could also feasibly be put outside in the warmer months and brought indoors in the cooler ones.

Quick jump to the list

Bigzzia Multi Pull Up Bar Dip Station

Footprint - 102-93 cm

Height - 183-233 cm

This free standing pull up bar supports users sized from 175 cm to 240 cm and can support a maximum user weight of 150 kgs. It’s made out of robust steel and has an extended curved H-shaped base. 

The four “points” of the H have anti-slip suction cups. Bigzzia have used triangle brackets, cantilever joints and safety-lock nuts on the screws. We’re therefore happy that this free standing chin up bar is going to stay in place.

The bar itself is well-padded and has excellent grip. There’s also a backrest for extra comfort. This has five settings so it should suit most users. As a pleasant bonus, this free standing pull up bar is very easy to assemble.

PROS

  • Takes users of up to 150Kg
  • Solid base
  • Comfortable back rest

CONS

  • We’re not impressed by the push-up bars

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Bigzzia Multi Pull Up Bar Dip Station Height Adjustable Power Tower Exercise...

Last update was on: May 10, 2021 9:17 pm
£119.99 £129.99
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JX FITNESS Power Tower

Footprint - 104-103 cm

Height - 182-202 cm

This free standing pull up bar supports users sized from 182 cm to 202 cm and can support a maximum user weight of 120 kgs. It’s also made of steel and has an H-shaped base with a thickened “anti-sway” bar. 

Each side of the stand alone pull-up bar has a load-bearing vertical rod for extra support. We’re happy this will stay in one place. It’s also easy to put together.

The bar has grips instead of padding. According to the packaging, these are created by laser engraving. We’re not techie enough to comment on this. We can say that they do feel comfortable and we take the point about them being guaranteed to stay put. We do have to say they do seem quite narrow. Folk with bigger hands might want to add extra grips/grip tape..

There are also nice, thick elbow pads and a cushioned backrest. The backrest doesn’t appear to be adjustable. It also has padded handles on the base to use for push ups etc. That said, we think they’d only be suitable for smaller people. We think they’re a bit too close together for tall folks.

PROS

  • Extra load-bearing rods
  • Excellent base
  • Good backrest

CONS

  • Not ideal for people with bigger hands, although there are workarounds for the issues

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

JX FITNESS Power Tower Adjustable Dip Bar Pull up Bar Knee Raise...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 10, 2021 9:17 pm
£139.95 £179.95
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Sogesfurniture Height Adjustable Power Tower Station

Footprint - 98 - 82 cm

Height - 165 - 210 cm

This free standing pull up bar supports users sized from 165 cm to 210 cm and can support a maximum user weight of 100 kgs. It’s made of steel and the overall build quality itself is good. Basically, if you keep this free standing chin-up bar for indoors and respect the (clearly-stated) height and weight limits, you should be absolutely fine.

Possibly the most important difference between this stand alone pull-up bar and the other options is that the base just has two “legs”. There is no connecting bar. There are, however, large suction cups at both ends of each leg. There are also triangular supports under the parallel-bar handles and safety-locking screws.

The parallel bar handles are attached to a crossbar at the back. This gets in the way of some of the exercises you might want to do. Resist any temptation just to take it off and live without the parallel-bar handles. It’s vital for the overall rigidity and hence stability of this free standing pull up bar.

You don’t get any fills on this free standing pull up bar. In particular, there’s no proper backrest. You do, however, get decent padding on both the bar itself and the parallel-bar handles. Overall, this is a basic option at a budget-friendly price. It’s super-easy to put together and can be moved fairly easily if you change homes.

PROS

  • Budget friendly

CONS

  • You get what you pay for

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

sogesfurniture Height Adjustable Power Tower Station Pull up Bar Dip Station for...

Last update was on: May 10, 2021 9:17 pm
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Sportsroyals Power Tower

Footprint - 103 - 99 cm

Height - 161 - 220 cm

This free standing pull up bar supports users sized from 161 cm to 220 cm and can support a maximum user weight of 200 kgs. Robust doesn’t do justice to the construction of this free standing chin-up bar. For example, it doesn’t just have an H-shaped base, it has extra bars on the “points” of the H for even more stability.

There are two crossbars (neither of which gets in the way) plus triangular supports under the parallel-bar handles plus extra bars connecting the base to the vertical supports. As you’ve probably guessed, you also get safety locknuts. Basically, this stand alone pull-up bar is going nowhere. For completeness, like all the other options, it’s also made of steel.

We have to give this free standing chin-up bar an A+ for comfort. There’s plenty of padding on the bar, parallel bar handles and push-up handles. This padding does not, however, compromise grip, which is excellent. You also get a backrest and elbow rests. These are likewise well-padded and both tilt.

Despite everything going on here, this free standing chin-up bar is easy to put together. We do have to warn you that the PU leather on the backrest and elbow rests can be a bit fragrant when it’s new. Honest, this is par for the course with PU leather and it soon wears off. Our only other gripe is that we felt the packaging could have been reduced somewhat.

PROS

  • Practically perfect in every way

CONS

  • Can whiff a bit when new.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Sportsroyals Power Tower Dip Station Pull Up Bar for Home Gym Strength...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 10, 2021 9:17 pm

Bonus pick

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UMI. by Amazon Door Pull-up and Chin-up Bar Upper Body Workout Bar

Yes, we know we said this article was to help you find the best free standing pull up bar. That’s why this is a bonus pick. If you’re reading this because you’d like a stand alone pull up bar at some point, then this might do you very well in the meantime. If you’d like to keep exercising when you’re away from home, then this could be a handy Plan B.

PROS

  • Great for when you can’t use a proper free standing pull up bar

CONS

  • Limits on where you can use it
  • Limits on your range of movement

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

UMI. by Amazon Door Pull-up and Chin-up Bar Upper Body Workout Bar...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: May 10, 2021 9:17 pm
£47.59 £55.99
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In short

Free standing pull up bars are big pieces of equipment. They’re also much more expensive than some of the other options you can buy. That said, if you’re really serious about fitness, a free standing pull up bar is an investment piece. Frankly, there’s nothing quite like them for delivering a serious workout to your core and upper body.

Katie Mills
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Katie is our resident Editor and extremely is an well-respected voice in the world of fitness. Katie has a first-class Hons degree in Journalism and is proud to say that she has written leading entries featured in the biggest media outlets including Vogue, Women Health Magazine and CoachMag. Great outdoors and animal lover and always on the go

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